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Turkey shoots down 'unknown' drone near Syrian border

Fresh reported violation of Turkish airspace comes amid heightened diplomatic tensions over Russian airstrikes in neighbouring Syria
An image from Turkey's state news agency shows the downed drone (Twitter / @aa_arabic)

The Turkish army on Friday shot down a drone of “unknown nationality” that entered its airspace near the country’s border with Syria.

A US official commenting on the violation said the aircraft "may" have been Russian.

However, Russia has said that all of its drones operating in Syria are safe and "operating as normal".

The Turkish army said it issued three warnings to the aircraft after it entered Turkish airspace on Friday afternoon, and was eventually shot down, according to rules of engagement, above the south-eastern province of Kilis.

The reported violation of Turkish airspace comes amid heightened tension on its border with war-torn Syria, where Russian planes have been continuing a bombing campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

Earlier this month, Turkey said it “cannot endure” further violations of its airspace, after Russian jets strayed into Turkish territory on two consecutive days.

Since then Russia, which blamed the violations on poor weather, has said it is taking steps to avoid further violations.

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